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Wesbanco (WSBC) 4Q Earnings Rise 18.9 Pct, Beat Estimates

 January 29, 2013 12:03 PM

(By Balaseshan) WesBanco Inc. (NASDAQ: WSBC), a multi-state bank holding company, reported a 18.9% increase in quarterly earnings on higher net interest income and a decrease in the provision for credit losses. Results exceeded Street's expectations.

Earnings for the fourth quarter were $12.65 million or $0.46 per share, up from $10.64 million or $0.40 per share last year. Excluding restructuring and merger-related expenses, earnings for the latest quarter would have been $14.2 million or $0.52 per share.

The company said net income rose primarily due to a $6.4 million decline in the provision for credit losses as a result of improved credit quality, and a $1.3 million rise in net interest income from increased average assets due to organic loan growth in 2012 and the acquisition of Fidelity.

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Taxable equivalent net interest income increased to $44.97 million from $43.58 million. Provision for credit losses fell to $3.27 million from $9.63 million.

Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $0.47 per share on revenue of $43.12 million for the fourth quarter.

Non-interest income grew 11.6% to $17.60 million, due to a 10.9% rise in trust fees from growth in assets under management, higher electronic banking fees, increased gains on sale of mortgage loans, and near break-even charges on disposition of other real estate owned in the 2012 quarter.

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Non-interest expense rose 17.15% to $41.58 million, due to the restructuring and merger-related expenses, increased FTEs and normal rises at WesBanco for compensation increases, while higher employee benefits were due to higher pension and employee health insurance costs.

Total assets at December 31, 2012 increased 9.8% or $542.7 million from the prior year-end due to the acquisition of Fidelity and organic growth. Portfolio loans increased $448.4 million or 13.8% with $313.4 million from the acquisition and the balance $135.0 million as WesBanco's originations outpaced paydowns.

Deposits increased $550.4 million or 12.5% in 2012, with $455.0 million from the acquisition and $95.4 million from organic growth. Total non-performing loans were $63.7 million or 1.73% of total loans at December 31, 2012, which represents a 26.7% decrease from last year.

WSBC is trading up 1.14% at $23.03 on Tuesday. The stock has been trading between $18.60 and $23.47 for the past 52 weeks.

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